U.S. Could Be World's Most Populous Country
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U.S. Could Be World's Most Populous Country
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Rapid population growth for the United States is not without historical precedent. For example, between 1813 and 1900, America's population increased nearly tenfold, 8 million to 76 million, and fivefold between 1890 and 2013, 63 million to 316 million. The populations of some individual US states grew more rapidly than the nation as a whole. For instance, between 1850 and 1910, populations of Texas and California increased 18-fold and 26-fold, respectively.

Increasing US immigration to 10 million per year would facilitate the reunification of separated families. Rather than having to wait for years, US immigrants would be joined by spouses, children, siblings, parents within weeks. This would boost American leadership in promoting family and social networks. America's ethnic, cultural and personal ties, such as those now firmly established with Ireland, Israel and Italy, would be extended to encompass all nations.

The issue of illegal immigration would no longer be a sensitive political matter occupying valuable time and resources of the US president or Congress. Unauthorized immigrants residing in the US - 60 percent currently from Mexico - would be granted amnesty and welcomed as new citizens. Enforcement, border patrol, legal/judicial hearings, incarceration and deportations would be negligible, saving the nation billions of dollars that could be used for rebuilding America's ailing infrastructure.

In addition to the familial, political and administrative advantages, opening America's doors wide to immigrants would engender many far-reaching economic and social benefits, including yielding a vastly expanded GDP and greater tax revenues; more workers, entrepreneurs, innovators and consumers; a younger population; a more competitive workforce and wage levels; increased contributions to Social Security and Medicare; a larger pool of potential recruits for all kinds of work; and enriched cultural diversity.

Furthermore, setting US immigration at 10 million per year would help repopulate and rejuvenate many declining and financially strapped cities, including Detroit, Newark or Stockton. It would ease the labor-shortages for farmers, food producers, working mothers, landscapers, health care providers, high-tech entrepreneurs and more. Energetic immigrants would take on jobs that Americans find difficult, decline to do or are not qualified to perform.

Businesses, chambers of commerce, unions, religious institutions, immigrant-advocacy groups and various government agencies would also benefit from increased immigration. Companies could choose from a terrifically expanded, motivated and youthful labor pool. Unions would have all workers authorized to participate in the labor force, thereby ending the undercutting of fair wages. Government authorities and employers would not need to verify or monitor work permits and worksites except to ensure that all employees pay required taxes.

Global opinion polls show that many people at virtually all skill levels would like to emigrate, and the number-one destination is overwhelmingly the United States. In addition to promoting continued migration from neighboring Canada, Mexico, Central America and other Latin American countries, greater numbers of bright, ambitious and innovative immigrants should be sought from countries in South and East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Finally, with US immigration increased to 10 million per year, the enhanced America with a population of 1.6 billion by century's close would mean a more secure and flourishing world. As the world's most populous nation by 2100, America would strengthen its capacity to continue promoting democracy, freedom and development, thereby ensuring peace, stability and prosperity for every region of the world.